Oser Communications Group

Gourmet News July 2015

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BY LORRIE BAUMANN Genetically engineered crops pose no current danger to the American Food Supply, accord- ing to Gregory Jaffe, Director of the Project on Biotechnology for the Center for the Science in the Public Interest. That's not to say that genetic engineering poses no threat for the future, so CSPI is urging the federal Food and Drug Administration to require pre-ap- proval before new genetically en- gineered crops are allowed to enter the nation's food supply. CSPI, often called "The Food Police," is the non-profit con- sumer group that's been very vocal over the past several years BY LORRIE BAUMANN Coached by a generation of chefs with television shows, consumers have learned to ask for fresh, local and organic products. Gro- cers are now teaching them to look for those at the grocery store as well as the farmers market. "I think people are buying local now more than ever," said Pat Brown, CEO of the Natural Food Group, which includes Mrs. Green's Natural Market, Planet Organic Market and Richtree Natural Market restau- rants in New York, the Mid-At- lantic, Chicago and Canada. Consumers are asking more Locavore Trend Drives Grocery Sales of Fresh Food Continued on PAGE 11 Continued on PAGE 12 Continued on PAGE 9 questions now about where their food comes from, Brown said. "It forces the hand of the retailer to go out and get that product.... Organic sales are growing at a high rate as well, but the con- sumer is inter- ested in buying food in their neighborhood from people who grow it in their neighborhood." According to the U.S. Depart- ment of Agriculture, total local food sales last year amounted to $6.1 billion, of which only $1.31 billion in sales occurred directly from farmers to consumers through farmers markets, u-pick farms and farm stands. Sales from farms that passed through the hands of in- termediates – restaurants, dis- tributors and re- tailers – grew from $2.7 billion in 2008 to $3.35 billion in 2012. In the nationally representative 2011 U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends Survey conducted by the Food Marketing Institute, more than four out of five of the sur- veyed grocery store shoppers re- ported that they purchased local foods occasionally, while almost one out of 10 says they purchased local foods whenever possible. The Specialty Food Association reported in its "The State of the Specialty Food Industry 2015" re- port that, according to specialty food manufacturers, "Local and all-natural products continue to be the most interesting to con- sumers. More than half of the manufacturers cited 'local' as a claim that interests consumers Jeni's Ice Cream Cleans House Expert Says Genetically Engineered Crops Pose No Current Danger to Food Supply in campaigns urging less super- sizing of fast food menu items, less consumption of sugar-sweet- ened beverages and more labeling of trans fat content in foods. The organization receives no money from the food industry, Jaffe said. Genetically engineered foods are currently regulated under Food and Drug Administration rules for substances "Generally Recognized As Safe." Under those rules, food manufacturers are not required to obtain prior approval from the FDA before including them in food products. According to the FDA, "any substance that is intentionally added to food is a food additive, that is subject to premarket review and approval by FDA, unless the substance is gen- erally recognized, among quali- fied experts, as having been adequately shown to be safe under the conditions of its in- tended use, or unless the use of the substance is otherwise ex- cluded from the definition of a food additive." CSPI and other or- ganizations are asking the FDA to exercise tighter control over GRAS designations and to require a safety assessment for any food ingredient produced with new science or technology before it is placed on the market. BY LORRIE BAUMANN Supermarkets in general aren't getting a lot of loyalty from their shoppers these days, and restau- rateurs are starting to think that if consumers are happy to buy ready-prepared food in super- markets, they might also be will- ing to buy fresh, uncooked items in restaurants. Taking that busi- ness away from grocers might be an important new revenue stream for restaurateurs in the future, said Hudson Reihle, Senior Vice Continued on PAGE 12 Restaurateurs Aim to Ratchet Up Competition for Shoppers' Food Dollars President of the National Restau- rant Association's Research and Knowledge Group. More than 30 percent of con- sumers say that they shop for their groceries in four or more stores, and almost half of all adults who took part in a recent survey by the restaurant associa- tion say they would buy fresh, un- cooked food items from restaurants. Young adults are even more likely than their seniors to consider their favorite restaurant as a source for uncooked food, with more than six out of ten 18- to 34-year olds saying that they would do that, Riehle said. Restaurateurs used to figure that their competition came from other restaurants within their neighborhood. These days, they're competing, not just with other restaurants nearby but also with grocery stores, convenience stores and anyone else who wants BY RICHARD THOMPSON Jeni's Ice Cream reopened with fanfare after a voluntary recall and temporary closure of its shops fol- lowing the discovery of Listeria in a couple of pints of its ice cream. Then the company shut down again on June 12 after finding Listeria in its plant through rou- tine monitoring. This time, the company is confident that the new contamination did not affect any of its ice cream. No date had been announced at press time for a resumption of production. Jeni's reopened in late May after a month of reorganizing after the federal Food and Drug Administration determined a pint of ice cream for sale in Lin- coln, Nebraska was contami- nated with Listeria, prompting further investigation into the company's practices. Listeria monocytogenes is a bacterium usually found in soil or water, but can be found in unpasteur- ized milk and other dairy prod- ucts, causing serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. Healthy adults can ex- perience symptoms such as fever, stiff neck, confusion, abdominal pain and diarrhea. VOLUME 80, NUMBER 7 JULY 2015 n $7.00 RETAILER NEWS n Suzy Monford Named Chief Executive Officer for Andronico's Community Markets PAGE 17 SUPPLIER BUSINESS n Hawaiian Coffee Subject of New Marketing Push PAGE 18 NATURALLY HEALTHY n To-Go Food Packaging to Save the Planet PAGE 20 HOLIDAY UPDATE n PAGE 21 SWEETS & TREATS WRAPUP n PAGE 37 SMALL ELECTRICS n Breakfast Appliances PAGE 38 News ..............................................6 Ad Index .......................................39 Smorgasbord ................................39 www.gourmetnews.com G OURMET N EWS T H E B U S I N E S S N E W S P A P E R F O R T H E G O U R M E T I N D U S T R Y ®

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